The South-East Elders Forum, SEEF, has finally reacted to the quit notice by Arewa youths on Igbos.
They warned that Igbo persons still in the northern part of the country should see themselves as taking a big gamble with their lives.
They urged them to read the handwriting on the wall and return home immediately before the October 1 deadline.
The Igbo elders group gave the warning in a statement issued by the convener of the forum, Dr Dozie Ikedife, in Nnewi, Anambra State.
According to SEEF, the strong backing to the youths’ pronouncement by Professor Ango Abdullahi, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, should be seen as the tip of the iceberg of a well thought out plan.
SEEF leadership also noted that despite the order for the arrest of the originators of the quit notice and calls by other notable voices in the north for the same, none of the well-known individuals who signed the ultimatum had yet been apprehended.
“Even if they were to be arrested today, this would make no difference as plans had already been concluded to evict Igbo from the north”, the statement reads.
“The anger and mood of the youths and elders of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) was because the Igbo remembered their lost relatives in the genocidal war fought against them.
“And may be, they didn’t get the opportunity to ask the law enforcement agents to massacre those who did the remembrance. This may be the anger of the Arewa youths and their elders.
“Let it be said clearly, as it goes in Igbo adage, he who uses the gun, will also go by the gun and he who uses machete, will go by the machete.
“Anybody who raises a machete or gun against an innocent person will cut and shoot himself. This ultimatum to Ndigbo is not to be taken lightly. We have digested it very well and we know the import and weight of the statement”.
On the way forward, the forum suggested that the leadership of Ohanaeze, ACF, Afenifere and the leadership of other ethnic nationalities should engage themselves in a frank talk on how to co-exist as neighbours.
It said that the present elected governors and legislators could not fashion out solution “because of obvious reasons of their political baggage”.